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Jegyzetlapok egy város történeti fejlődésének értelmezéséhez: ’debrec(z)eniség’ és/vagy/versus ’debrec(z)enség’?
Megjelent szeptember 23, 2021
312–331.

The Research Group for Hungarian Realms of Memory affiliated to the Institute of Hungarian Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Debrecen has taken on the thread of a long-running debate with its latest research program. Its research results were published in the conference volume entitled “Patterns of Debrecen…”. The studies... presented in this volume are extremely inspiring, especially the analysis of Attila Debreczeni, which proves to those approaching the topic from other disciplines that the term ‘Debrecenness’ is not as timeless as it is commonly used. The term was coined at the turn of the 18-19th century by Ferenc Kazinczy, who was calling for the renewal of Hungarian culture and language. Its aim was to draw a deterrent example of a remnant that hinders the catching-up of Western European cultural development. He created his deterrent example from the most backward elements of the urban development peculiarities of Debrecen - this is the term ‘Debrecenness’. Kazinczy’s rhetorical construction became so strong that those who thought about the development of the city, about the special role and identity of Debrecen could not later get rid of the discursive position of defence. Other intellectual workshops examining the history of the city (historians, settlement geographers, church historians, others) can finally find proved the strength and impact of the Kazinczyan discourse and the term he coined as part of the development of the Debrecen mentality and identity. However, based on their research results, they came to the conclusion that the peculiarities of urban history of Debrecen, and its role in Hungarian nationwide development was richer and more diverse than the Kazinczyan term. Therefore, in addition to the ‘debreceniség/Debrecenness’ category, it is also worth examining whether there was a specific urban development path of Debrecen, which can be called ‘debrecenség/Debrecenity’ to avoid misunderstandings. In the light of recent modernization theories and current developments (depletion of traditional resources driving industrial modernization, environmental damages, climate change), the urban development of Debrecen cannot simply be classified as a lagging and receding force compared to the development of the central regions. Moreover, perhaps it can bring lessons and specific (partial) solutions to the interpretation of development that does not absolutize growth at all costs. The re-enacted debate is an intellectual challenge for all scientific workshops dealing with the urban development of Debrecen, their collaboration and the organization of a joint research project promise real scientific progress.

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